Before this blog existed, we used to post all of our content (and still post the majority of it) on our Instagram account (Go follow us if you don’t already!).
402 posts and 12.4k followers later, we often get asked to about creating a ‘Day in the life’ article or video. I’ve thought about it for a while, but never quite managed to get around to it for one main reason: No two days are ever the same for us.
If you’re here from Instagram, you may or may not notice that I rarely post more than once to our grid per day; occasionally a little more through stories here and there and, depending on whether I’m feeling particularly inspired, I may even throw in a feel reels for good measure.
The point is, those images and videos are such a small snapshot into the many hours we spend together. They’re honest and reflective posts that try to share an insight into how we view the world and our experiences of coparenting, but they’re not all-encompassing.
So here goes… Last Saturday felt about as close to a typical day we could get, so I thought I’d share it.
That said, it was still pretty random.
Time to wake up
“Daddy!”… “Daaaaddy” … “Daaaaaaaaaddy!”…
06:25. Dazed and confused. I stir from my restful slumber to hear my darling child calling me from downstairs. I live in a townhouse and my bedroom is on the top floor, Evie’s bedroom is on the first.
I call back in a croaky voice, “Come upstairs sweetheart, we can have a snuggle and put the tele on”.
Silence for ten seconds or so; it feels like a lifetime.
“Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaddy! Come and get me!”.
The morning pilgrimage from my bed, down the stairs and into Evie’s room, just so she can clamber clumsily onto me, blanket in one hand me, drink in the other, ready to make the return trip.
Evie’s getting heavy; especially when my body is still half-asleep.
We set up base in my bed and have a cuddle and stick the TV on. I’ll usually try to steal a few extra winks, although I never get to more than four, let alone forty.
After we’ve relaxed in bed until what I consider a suitable time for breakfast (usually between 07:00 and 07:30), I’ll take Evie’s breakfast order.
You see, Hotel Daddy is a five star destination and, though I swore I’d never do it, Evie has somehow enrolled in the all-inclusive room service scheme.
Once I’ve taken the order, I’ll pop downstairs and get Evie her usual:
- Toast with a smattering of peanut butter or jam
- A children’s multi-vitamin sweet
- An ensemble of blueberries and diligently halved grapes
- An Innocent smoothie
This girl knows how to live.
I have a coffee.
Service is delivered on a highly masculine lap tray…Pink with unicorns, naturally.
Don’t judge me.
Evie really loves playing games on her iPad recently, she’s just gotten to an age that she can actually do it, which is really nice to watch.
People often talk about devices as the devil, but I believe if moderated and managed carefully, they’re an engaging way to teach your children how to solve problems.
Within half an hour we’d made ice cream, created pies, raced horses, collected Lego coins, given Barbie a makeover and tended to our dragon.
As a kid, some of my favourite memories with my Dad and two brothers were spent playing Mario Kart 64 or Goldeneye on the N64.
We joked, we strategised, we commanded, we conquered.
I appreciate this time with Evie because it’s a great opportunity to develop the way we communicate too.
The game itself doesn’t really matter. The important factor here is having a shared goal and talking together as we achieve it.
Evie and I giggled for ages today whilst she put chocolate icing on a cake that look remarkably like human excrement.
‘Poo pie’ was born.
Those little moments are the best (Why do children find ‘poo’ so hilarious?!).
After I whizzed upstairs for a quick shower, we went to the playroom and lined up all of her Lego sets on the floor.
Promptly after setting them out all nicely, Evie changed her mind about playing with them and we started playing Mums and Dads instead.
…I then moved all of the Lego sets into the bathroom so we didn’t trip on them – such is the life of a parent.
Evie really shone as ‘Mummy’, though my role as ’Daddy’ felt a little type-cast if I’m honest. Nonetheless, I soldiered on, took my baby and put her in the trolly and took her to the play shop.
Evie embraced a duality of roles, opting to play as both Mummy in the play kitchen cooking dinner and shopkeeper.
I loaded the trolly with a lovely selection of wooden fruits and vegetables and went to pay. I was told sharply that I didn’t have enough food and that I needed to buy more (by either Mummy or the shopkeeper at this stage, it wasn’t clear).
I felt conflicted at this point as depending on the character, the behaviour was either highly believable maternal behaviour or wildly unacceptable customer service.
Nonetheless, we continued and, after our shopping trip, it was time for ‘the party’.
Evie, dolly and I played ‘Shut up and dance with me’ by Walk the Moon and danced in the playroom, across the landing and into Evie’s bedroom until the party ended…approximately three renditions of the song later.
As has become our alternating weekend custom since the pandemic struck, we hopped in the car and headed to McDonalds.
We always go through the “Drive Thru” (So American huh?), and Evie always has a chicken nugget Happy Meal. I grab something and then we drive around the corner and park up in the local retail park.
At this point, we usually wedge the iPad in the open glove box lid and watch Netflix together whilst we eat. Again, something I would have told you would never happen in a million years when I was a parent, but look…here we are.
Today we watched Ben and Holly.
It was also glorious.
As it was Mother’s Day yesterday, we decided to whizz to Tescos so we could buy ingredients to make Evie’s Mummy a chocolate cake.
I’m a big believer of making a fuss of your child’s other parent even if you are separated because it’s important they respect and value everything the other parent does for them.
I will be posting about this subject in more depth over the next few days.
Anyway, back to the shopping trip…
When you see people on Instagram, you don’t often see the mundane daily tasks that they have to do, right? It always makes me laugh. How boring Instagram would be if it was an accurate reflection of actual life instead of a carefully curated portfolio of amateur photography.
We find we what need in and amongst the chaos.
Evie loves to push the trolley. Fast.
Today she only rams one person and has three near misses.
We make a chocolate cake with chocolate butter cream and just about every type of sprinkle you can think of.
Although I help Evie when she needs me to, I very much just give her instructions and leave her to it.
The kitchen is an absolute wreck by the time we’re finished and the cake decoration is, erm, very good for a four year old.
Eating Hail Stones
OK look, if you speak to most people I know, they’d tell you that I’m fairly impulsive in my decision-making.
It starts hammering down with hail so I do what seems like the obvious thing to do…
Open the patio doors, hold out my hand and catch some hail stones.
We eat them.
Evie finds this really funny, which of course…I find really funny.
We step up our game by sticking our open-mouthed faces out of the patio doors and trying to catch them on our tongues.
Yeah, I don’t know why we did it either, but it was fun.
Shortly after we sample the sky’s finest falling balls of ice, Evie notices that she has a little hole near her shin on her pink tights.
I grab the hole and rip it to make it even bigger.
Evie stares at me, eyes wide and jaw on the floor.
“DADDY! You just BROKE my TIGHTS!”, she exclaims.
“Err, I think you’ll find you broke them. I just broke them more”, I reply.
Evie finds this so funny that I think she’s going to have an accident.
It’s amazing the fun you can have with the most innocuous little things. Evie takes her tights off and we precede to cut the feet off of them to make these weird-looking leggings.
Evie puts them back on and then struts around the house in them for a good ten minutes before we eventually lose interest.
The remains of those tights are currently on one of Evie’s dollies; I’ve been instructed to keep them.
Santa’s Sleeping Bag
We have a double sleeping bag from when Rosie and I went camping last summer. You know, after the first lockdown when lockdown rules were partially lifted, but just before the next lockdown where they were reinstated.
Evie absolutely loves this sleeping bag for some reason.
We’re having a chilled five minutes when she decides she wants to get in the sleeping bag and lay on the sofa.
I oblige and help her find the entrance of the bag so she can slide her legs in.
Don’t ask me why, but I decide it would be funny to lift the sleeping bag vertically as close to the ceiling as possible.
Evie sinks to the bottom of it, lost deep in the darkness .
All I hear was Evie’s dirty little giggle as she dangles, suspended ever-so-slightly off the floor. That infectious laugh is a clear sign we’ve found a new game…So we got going.
Before long, the sleeping bag has become Santa’s toy sack and Evie has ‘snuck’ into it.
She hides patiently in there and until I come into the room, pick her up and swing her onto the sofa.
Laughter ensues and we reset.
The game lasts many rounds.
I love random games like that.
Evie has recently decided that she absolutely loves the shower in my en suite. Bath time is no more.
We cart a selection of Evie’s Barbies, an octopus sponge, shampoo, body wash, a fishing rod and a plastic poo upstairs.
The poo is from a game Evie got for Christmas called, ‘Fish for Floaters’.
The premise is fairly self-explanatory, but in case you’re in any doubt,.. You use the fishing rod to catch any floating plastic poo in the water.
Evie usually asks for five more minutes at least five more times. Based on my recent post about living a more sustainable life, the length of time Evie spends in the shower will definitely need to be addressed.
She eventually emerges from the shower all red-faced and hot because she’s effectively created a little steam room over the course of the time she’s in there.
We towel her off, get pyjamas on and dry and brush hair.
I give Evie another 10 minutes (which inevitably turns into 20) to play with her Barbies in the play room.
Evie often likes to say that Rosie and I are in ‘true love’ and that we’re going to ‘get married’ (A statement she finds hilarious).
Today, for the first time actually, she decided that her bride and groom Barbies would be Rosie and I and the children would be Evie, Tilly and Liza.
We get in our carriage and rode to the KidKraft Dolls House (You can read our detailed review here), where Evie put all of the girls to bed nicely in a bed each.
Daddy was left to sleep on a sofa with a good 40% of his body hanging over the end.
Reading is an incredibly important part of our routine when Evie is with me. We never skip story time.
Aside from the fact I get far too into telling the stories at bedtime, especially when it’s just me and Evie, I love story time because it’s our opportunity to not only have a cuddle, but to use our imagination and expand our vocabulary.
Well, Evie’s vocabulary (I don’t want to sound like I’ve got a big head, but I knew most of the words already).
I know right? Subtle brag.
Cuddles and TV
After Evie’s brushed her teeth, I usually let Evie watch one episode of something longer and one episode of something shorter as a little bonus.
On this evening, we finish with two episodes of Ben and Holly and two episodes of Hey Duggee (I have a shorter weekend with Evie because she’s going back to her Mum’s for Mother’s Day…so I want to make the most of our time together).
In writing this, I realise just how circular our daily routine is, which in many ways is lovely.
We make lots of time for cuddles and ‘chill out’ time in and amongst the total random madness that fills the rest of the day.
After the sleep negotiations have taken place and I’ve managed to talk Evie down from her stance of, ‘Sleep isn’t fun’, we always have a little chat about the day before sleep.
As she lays in her bed, I’ll usually stroke her hair and we’ll talk about all of the things that happened that day.
I think this five minutes is so crucial because it helps us both to focus in on just how much we did, as well how much we laughed.
This mindful practice of reflecting on the day is something I want to instil in Evie early on, particularly before she reaches her teenage years and life gets all-the-more confusing.
If Evie can take five minutes every day to just process and understand the day that went before, it’ll help her attack the next day with positivity, enthusiasm and appreciation.
After our little chat, I give Evie a kiss and a cuddle and Evie scrabbles to think about anything and everything she can possibly ask me to prolong bedtime.
Today she asked me why the roof was on top of the house. I nearly fell for it before realising it was all part of her master plan to extend bedtime.
“Nunite sweetheart, love you.”
The next morning…